Budget Season Ramping Up – Football season may have ended last night, but budget season is just heating up. Lawmakers have introduced a plethora of bills in order to show voters that they are serious about addressing our fiscal problems. Expect that trend to continue, but pressure will increase for real action.
Game On – The Super Bowl in Texas won’t be until Sunday, but Washington had its own big game last week as President Obama gave his State of the Union address.
Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, is calling for swift and decisive action to address our worsening fiscal problems. His comments come in reaction to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) January 2011 baseline report, which was released yesterday. To see CRFB's analysis of the new baseline, click here.
What Will He Say? – On Tuesday President Obama will avail himself of one of the most effective tools a President has to shape the Washington agenda and the political narrative – the annual State of the Union address.
With so much talk currently about the statutory debt ceiling, we at CRFB felt that this topic, which can be quite complex, deserved a good briefing. We have thus updated our Debt Celing Primer as an educational tool. With the debt ceiling debate about to reach full force as we get closer to reaching the limit, an explanation of what the debt ceiling truly is can be helpful.
Can Dreams of Cooperation be Fulfilled? – Yesterday the nation celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His vision of unity and reconciliation will be needed as a divided Washington takes on many contentious issues, such as health care repeal and several budget-related issues.
Shooting Puts Legislative Business on Hold – The shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others in Tucson, Arizona has resulted in House leaders suspending legislative activity this week. The only vote now expected this week is one on a resolution honoring Giffords and the other victims of the attack. The House was going to vote this week on repealing the health reform law.
Bruce Bartlett posits an interesting scenario for when debt default could occur in the US: next year. Before the panic sets in, we should clarify. He means that there is an increased possibility that, for political reasons, Congress might not pass a debt ceiling increase next year. This move would technically force the US to default. He explains the politics below:
Snow Job – Just hours after Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) announced they had reached a deal on a jobs bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plowed it under, saying it was too bloated with provisions not related to creating jobs. The Senate will consider the scaled-down version Reid crafted on February 22 when it returns from its week-long President’s Day recess.